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April 05, 2001

Fantastic Voyage

I took a half-day off this morning in order to meet with Marv Bielsky at
Stoller Middle School. Marv is a retired science teacher who now runs
his own small business, Scientific Instrument Service and
. He travels around the region repairing and calibrating
scales, microscopes, telescopes and the like. As a sideline he rebuilds
used microscopes, sells them for $100, and donates the money to

It was under the last heading that I was to meet with him. I agreed to buy a standard high-school grade microscope from him for Jean's birthday (and for Kelly to share, under supervision). The catch is that he is based in Vancouver Washington, and travels all the time. So I had to meet him at a school where he was working. Stoller Middle School is way the heck north of where I live or work, but it was the closest he was likely to get, so I made the trip.

I've got the microscope now, it is a standard 4X, 10X, 40X with a 10X wide-field eyepiece. It is really sturdy, and gives tons better results than the plastic telescope Jean bought for Kelly for Christmas. The difference is like night and day. Marv said that if we had bought a new microscope of similar quality it would have come to $500. So it was worth the trip.

While I was there, I found out that Marv doesn't just do technical instrument repair. In the summer, he lives in Montana, where he runs his own business as a fishing guide. Interesting guy.

Posted by dpwakefield at April 5, 2001 12:31 AM